Northampton Saints will open their Heineken Cup campaign with a home clash against Glasgow Warriors on Sunday October 14.
The Saints were drawn against Glasgow, Ulster and Castres Olympique in Pool Four last month, with the first four rounds of fixtures now confirmed.
Their Scottish opponents visit Franklin’s Gardens for the Sunday lunchtime game on the first weekend of the tournament, with Northampton travelling to France the following week.
It is a short turnaround for the side, who play Castres at Stade Pierre Antoine on the evening of Friday October 19.
Then comes the double-header against Ulster, with home game on Friday December 7 before the return match at Ravenhill on Saturday December 15.
Saints director of rugby Jim Mallinder said: “We saw last year how important it is to make a good start in the Heineken Cup.
“Playing our opening game at home gives us the perfect opportunity to do just that this time around.
“We are however fully aware of the dangers posed by Glasgow and certainly won’t be underestimating the threat they will pose.
“We also know how difficult a place Castres is to travel to the week after and in such a challenging Pool, points gained on the road could be vital.
“Then, victory at home in the back-to-back ties with Ulster will be crucial to set the tone for the following week.
“They are another side we know well and after our meeting in 2011, not to mention their run to the final last season, we are fully aware that Ulster are one of the most dangerous sides in the competition.
“That said, there is plenty of rugby to be played even before we start our Heineken Cup campaign.
“We are keen and fully focused on starting our Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign in the best possible fashion – something that will hopefully give us the momentum we need to challenge in Europe come October 14.”
The full details for their final two matches at home to Castres and away to Glasgow have yet to be confirmed.
Northampton Saints Heineken Cup Pool Four fixtures
Sun Oct 17 – Glasgow Warriors (H) 12.45pm
Fri Oct 19 – Castres Olympique (A) 9pm (local time)
Fri Dec 7 – Ulster (H) 8pm
Sat Dec 15 – Ulster (A) 6pm
Jan 11/12/13 – Castres Olympique (H)
Jan 18/19/20 – Glasgow Warriors (A)